My cousin has a credit card with Best Buy, it has a very high interest rate and she wants to lower it. She has gone to one of her church meetings and this company (Trinity Debt Management ) was recommended to her. Is this a reliable business? It seems to me that they charge her a fee of no more than fify dollars a month extra on top of the one hundred twenty six they’re using for a payment. Is this normal to charge that amount? I checked with the better buisness bureau and TDM is not registered. I can find no other information About them. Can you help?
Entering into a program with Trinity Debt Management to put the card into a debt management plan, like with any credit counselor, has consequences. Most importantly the account will be closed and will not longer help your cousin to build good credit. The length of the credit history makes up 35 percent of your credit score. If what your cousin is looking for is just a lower rate, she should first pickup the phone and call the lender to inquire about what lower rates might be available. If she just wants a lower overall rate but wants to maintain or possibly improve her credit then she should look at a debt consolidation loan instead.
I would encourage your cousin to use this guide to checkout the company to due her due diligence on Trinity Debt Management. See The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line.
But I went a took a look at Trinity Debt Management to See what I could quickly find.
Interestingly it appears Trinity Debt Management has two websites. One is at trinitycredit.org and the other at mydebthasmedown.com. According to the second site, Trinity Debt Management is actually Trinity Credit Counseling, Inc and says they are located at 500 N. Calvert St. Rm 402. Baltimore, MD 21202. But interestingly enough the State of Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation has no business registered in Maryland under that name. – Source
But it appears Trinity Credit Counseling is actually an Ohio non-profit corporation that states it is located at 11229 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241. They were previously known as Mid-America Credit Counseling, Inc as well. They do have a registration in Ohio to operate under the name Trinity Debt Management. – Source
My first observation after visiting what appears to be the primary Trinity Debt Management site at trinitycredit.org is that they appear to be primarily pushing a debt management plan as the primary solution.
Trinity Debt Management does provide information on alternatives for dealing with the debt, such as debt settlement, unsecured debt consolidation loans, and/or bankruptcy. And while the information they present is more balanced and fair than most debt relief sites, I can’t help but get the impression the focus on the site is to drive people towards a debt management plan where the company receives compensation from creditors and consumers.
For example, the debt options page on the debt management plan is not all that fair and balanced. It glows about the debt management plan but makes no mention of the consequences and cons of the program. And there can be a number of them. The statement I found most interesting was their claim it helps the credit.
A third benefit offered through a DMP is the process of bringing delinquent accounts current. Often called “reaging” an account, it occurs after making a series of on-time payments through the debt management program. Re-aging does not eliminate prior delinquencies; it allows a debtor a fresh start and an opportunity to begin building a positive payment history. – Source
But since included accounts will be closed by the creditor, even they say that on the same page, then the primary benefit of that account on the credit report will not really help moving forward.
According to the IRS, Trinity Credit Counseling is a 501(c)3 organization. The last public tax return of the charity was in 2010.
At that time the directors and officers were listed as Orville Robinson, Randall Wheeler, Doug Taylor, Robert Bicknaver, Gary Vosick, Caroline Leonard, and Jade Durham. Vosick is the president and his salary was reported as almost $303,000 with all included compensation. Vosick also appears to own Vosick Enterprises and was paid an additional $90,000 for a line item labeled as LLC Leases and later described as a lease of the office building to Trinity Debt Management.
Another interesting statement is that apparently the company does not have it’s own employees. The statement made on the 990 says, “The organization leases all of its employees from an unrelated third party leasing company.” Yet the company did not list their independent contractors on their return. – Source
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